Terrible news for “Vampire Diaries” fans: A beloved character is leaving the CW series when Season 6 returns. Despite recent rumors of turmoil on the set between former lovebirds Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, the actor departing the show is actually Steven R. McQueen.

McQueen has appeared on “The Vampire Diaries” as Elena’s little brother, Jeremy Gilbert, since the 2009 premiere. His role on the show has varied throughout the past few seasons, with the character even dying in Season 4. But the show centers on vampires, witches and werewolves, after all, and Jeremy was given a second chance at life during the Season 4 finale, thanks to a little magic. But will his luck run out in 2015? Executive producer Julie Plec confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that McQueen is leaving, but fans shouldn’t expect a grisly supernatural death.

“His final episode will be episode 614, and the episode leading up [to it] will be him grappling with whether or not it’s time for him to say goodbye to Mystic Falls,” Plec dished. “Every year we look at which characters we feel are ready to move on, whether to better things in life or to the Great Beyond. This year, we realized that Jeremy has truly grown into a man, and as the victim of so much pain at the hands of the supernatural universe, we felt like it was time for him to go out on his own and start a fresh new life – with a twist.”

Jeremy has struggled with some inner demons since Season 1, but Season 6 has been particularly brutal for the teen. After the death of his girlfriend, Bonnie (Kat Graham), Jeremy began to spiral out of control with alcohol and girls. With his parents dead and his sister forced out of town due to a magic border, Jeremy had no one to rein him in.

Things turned around recently thanks to Matt (Zach Roerig), who suggested that Jeremy return to his vampire-hunter roots in order to stop Enzo (Michael Malarkey) from wreaking havoc on innocent people. Jeremy was able to subdue Enzo, but Matt wasn’t able to keep him that way. The midseason finale concluded with Enzo breaking free and locking Matt up.

“Vampire Diaries” fans will have to wait until episode 14 of Season 6 to see what kind of “twist” will affect Jeremy’s exit. But it doesn’t sound like Steven R. McQueen will be completely gone from the small screen. Plec teased that the actor would be “welcome to join us for important events – unless [McQueen] finally gets his wish to play a superhero and he’s unavailable.” Does this mean that viewers will see him in a new role? According to ComicBook.com, McQueen previously hinted about his desire to play Nightwing, a vigilante crime-fighter in the DC universe. If the character did jump from the comics to the small screen, there are two current options: a stint on the CW’s “Arrow” or on TNT’s upcoming series “Titans.”

Are you upset about Steven R. McQueen’s exit from “The Vampire Diaries”? Would you like to see him play a superhero? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.